Bhubaneswar: In view of the upcoming Panchayat Elections, an all-party meeting chaired by the State Election Commissioner (SEC) was held at the conference hall of the SEC here, Saturday.
The meeting discussed six agendas- the duration of Panchayati Raj institutions, identification of booths, preparation of voters’ list, duration of voting and election expenditure.
The duration and expenditure limits of the last panchayat elections have been retained this year as well. Last year, the expenditure limits for a Zilla Parishad, a Samiti member and a Sarpanch candidate were Rs 2lakh, Rs 80,000 and Rs 80,000 respectively.
The members of the political parties demanded the expenditure limits for Samiti member and Sarpanch candidates be increased from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2 lakh and that of Zilla Parishad candidate from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
And the other demands the political parties placed are alcohol-free voting, extension of voting duration and error less voters list.
This time, instead of booth level counting, there will be block level counting.
Since the tenure of the Zilla Parishads will complete by the end of the second week of March 2022, the SEC has started preparations to conduct the elections before March as according to the rule, general elections in Panchayati Raj institutions should be held before the completion of the five-year tenure.
Keeping in view of the Covid-19 situation, all political parties had earlier been requested to send only one or two of their representatives to attend the meeting.
With the preparations for panchayat elections being underway, political activities have gained momentum with different political parties pulling the stops to strengthen their base.